Located on the far north side of Chicago, Rogers Park is one of the most economically and ethnically diverse communities in the United States. The Rogers Park Business Alliance’s motto, “Strengthening Business, Building Community,” signals that its mission is more than economic development. In addition to overseeing several commercial district “Special Services Areas” and promoting local businesses, RPBA operates the much-loved Glenwood Sunday Market which has 2,500 customers each week.
RPBA reached out to Millennia consultant Tom Lenz as it prepared to update its strategic plan in the fall of 2016. Lenz designed a process that used individual meetings with board and community members to surface key issues and a half-day board retreat to set priorities for the next five years. The board also identified key metrics it will track to measure its community improvement strategies. Revamped business attraction efforts and creation of unique identities for each of RPBA's five commercial districts were among the priorities the board decided upon.
RPBA Board President Beth Demes was pleased with Millennia Consulting’s work with the organization. “Tom’s thoughtful approach, which included interviews with community stakeholders, helped the board to understand the broader context of its mission and to develop long-term strategies that will increase RPBA’s effectiveness.”